The Roku Specific (2022) is essentially the most reasonably priced streaming gadget in Roku’s lineup, however the low value comes at the price of lacking extra fashionable options. It gives all of the apps and companies you’d count on, all wrapped up in Roku’s user-friendly UI. The compact dimension additionally makes it a simple journey companion, however the Specific (2022) is in the end greatest fitted to smaller, older TVs, and is outclassed by similarly-priced rivals.

The price of streaming subscriptions can add up quick, so discovering a price range gadget to entry them is at all times a reduction. For many who don’t need to break the financial institution, the Roku Specific sequence is an reasonably priced strategy to dive into the streaming house, with Roku’s platform providing entry to the entire main companies. Like different Roku gadgets, the Specific gives a easy UI plus loads of free channels. As with earlier Specific fashions, the 2022 version is the proper small dimension to tackle the go, however how does the bare-bones strategy evaluate to the newest competitors? Discover out in our Roku Specific (2022) assessment.

About this Roku Specific (2022) assessment: I examined the Roku Specific (2022) over a interval of three weeks. It was operating Roku OS 11.5 as of the September 2022 replace. The unit was bought by Android Authority for this assessment.

What you’ll want to know concerning the Roku Specific (2022)

Adam Birney / Android Authority

  • Roku Specific (3960R): $29.99 / £29.99

The Roku Specific is a small set-top field that plugs into one of many spare HDMI ports in your TV. You’ll additionally want a spare USB port in your TV to energy the Roku Specific; in any other case, you may end up scrambling for an outlet or an influence strip to accommodate the brief cable. although you’ll want to produce your individual energy brick this time round. As soon as plugged in, it makes use of Wi-Fi to hook up with lots of the hottest streaming companies and the Roku Channel, which incorporates varied free reside television choices.

Roku has made a number of modifications to the Specific in comparison with earlier fashions. The Roku Specific (2022) now comes with dual-band Wi-Fi, which was beforehand solely obtainable with the Specific 4K Plus. Roku has additionally upgraded the inner storage of the Specific, which delivers barely quicker loading instances than earlier than however nonetheless falls behind rivals.

By way of streaming high quality, the Roku Specific maxes out at 1080p at as much as 60fps, with assist for upscaling from 720p. These of you with 4K TVs may take into account considered one of Roku’s dearer choices as a substitute, or not less than the Roku Specific 4K Plus ($39.99) for under $10 extra.

The Roku Specific (2022) now has dual-band Wi-Fi and extra inside storage than earlier fashions.

The Roku Specific nonetheless helps Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay, so you’ll be able to mirror your cellphone to the massive display. Likewise, the Specific is suitable with Google Dwelling and Apple HomeKit, so you need to use voice instructions with different sensible residence gadgets to manage the Roku Specific, simply not vice versa.

Talking of voice instructions, there is no such thing as a voice management functionality through the included distant. The Primary Roku distant solely controls the streaming gadget itself and never your TV, that means you gained’t discover a energy button or quantity controls, for example. You’ll be able to, nonetheless, use voice controls through the free companion app or buck up for the Roku Voice Distant ($19.99).

As one of many smaller gadgets in Roku’s lineup, the Specific is a superbly moveable companion. At roughly the identical width as a bank card and fewer than an inch thick, you’ll be able to simply slide the Roku Specific into your pocket to take with you whereas touring. Principally, it’s a strong price range TV streamer that covers all of the bases, making it supreme for secondary TVs or a superb present for first-time streamers.

What’s good?

Adam Birney / Android Authority

The primary promoting level of the Roku Specific hasn’t modified with the most recent mannequin: a strong steadiness of portability and compatibility. You’ll be able to stash the light-weight streamer in just about any sized pocket and use it with nearly any TV you discover (supplied it has a spare HDMI and — should you don’t have a spare energy brick — a USB port). If you will preserve your Roku Specific stationed on one TV, it comes with an adhesive strip for mounting on the highest, aspect, or backside of the display. Simply be sure that the entrance face has a direct line of sight to be used with the bundled infrared distant.

The Roku Specific (2022) strikes a strong steadiness between portability and compatibility.

Roku OS is straightforward and simple to navigate, with noticeably fewer adverts than Amazon’s dearer Hearth TV Stick streamers. When you’ve used a Roku earlier than, then Specific will import your app listing out of your account. The customizable residence display places your go-to streaming apps entrance and middle, so they’re normally solely a click on away. Plus, the included Roku Channel has some authentic TV exhibits and flicks you gained’t essentially discover on the opposite main streaming companies, akin to Bizarre: The Al Yankovic Story.

The free Roku cellular app provides a whole lot of worth to the Specific expertise as nicely. You’ll be able to solid music, images, and movies straight out of your cellphone, and the app works as a second (however higher) distant, which conveniently gives voice controls that the bodily distant is lacking. Plus, the common search characteristic utilizing textual content or voice is a time saver in comparison with choosing every letter one after the other.

The Roku app additionally permits you to hearken to your exhibits with wi-fi headphones, which is appreciated as a result of older TVs primed for the 1080p-only Specific seemingly gained’t have the required Bluetooth compatibility. When you’re not utilizing headphones, the audio high quality is fairly first rate by a soundbar or TV audio system, and the Specific even helps Dolby Audio and Dolby Atmos for encompass sound.

What’s not so good?

Adam Birney / Android Authority

In case you have a 4K TV, the Roku Specific isn’t for you. There’s nothing mistaken with the gadget per se, it’s simply that the image high quality solely reaches 1080p. Likewise, there’s no assist for Dolby Imaginative and prescient or another HDR requirements both. Total, the Roku Specific appears to be like greatest on older, smaller TVs, maybe in a kitchen or bed room. It isn’t designed to fulfill a big-screen residence theater expertise.

You’ll additionally need to preserve the Roku Specific near your router, because the dual-band Wi-Fi solely helps a regular 2.4GHz 802.11n connection. Loading instances will seem sluggish to those that are used to Wi-Fi 5 or spoiled with the speeds of Wi-Fi 6. Added to that may be a meager 512MB of RAM, so chances are you’ll expertise particularly slow-loading screens while you launch a dormant app.

The Roku Specific’ pace and fundamental distant lag far behind its competitors.

One other space the place the Roku Specific falls brief is the distant management. Roku’s fundamental distant lags far behind a few of its competitors. There is no such thing as a voice command button, which the cheaper Amazon Hearth TV Stick Lite consists of, and no quantity or energy controls on the distant, which the equally priced Chromecast with Google TV gives along with its Google Assistant-powered distant. For these options, you’ll must pay additional for the Roku Voice Distant ($19.99), which is offered individually.

Lastly, it’s a bit odd that Roku hasn’t included an influence adapter with this mannequin, provided that a lot of the older TVs it’s fitted to gained’t have a USB port to offer energy. If you end up with such a TV, you’ll want a spare energy adapter and even perhaps an extension twine to achieve the outlet because the micro-USB cable is simply 55 inches lengthy.

Roku Specific (2022) assessment: The decision

Adam Birney / Android Authority

The Roku Specific (2022) is the most cost effective Roku set-top field within the firm’s present line-up, masking a lot of the fundamentals you’ll need from a streaming gadget. This participant is ideal should you personal a smaller TV that solely helps 720p or 1080p decision. It’s additionally appropriate for televisions and not using a sensible TV interface or a restricted interface you’d need to substitute with the simplicity of Roku OS.

Because the “Specific” within the title suggests, the Roku Specific is the proper dimension to tackle the go. It’s straightforward to arrange on any TV, whether or not at a pal’s residence or in a resort room. On this approach, it’s best served as a dependable journey companion for streaming however not as a main gadget on your primary TV to take pleasure in that wow issue viewing. And have in mind you’ll have to use two remotes — one for the TV and one for Roku OS.

The Roku Specific is greatest fitted to fast streaming whereas on the go, however not as your go-to gadget for that wow issue viewing.

In case you have a 4K TV and wish crisp photographs and HDR compatibility, you must actually take into account the Roku Specific 4K Plus ($29.99 at Amazon) as a substitute. For under $10 extra, the Specific 4K Plus solves a lot of the problems with the Specific by together with a Roku Voice Distant, quicker Wi-Fi, 1GB of RAM for quicker loading instances, and 4K or HDR10+ in case you do determine to improve your TV sooner or later.

Roku continues to undercut Amazon’s comparative Hearth TV Sticks on value and helps Google Forged and Apple AirPlay besides. Nonetheless, should you don’t want 4K streaming and need a full package deal for a similar value, it’s laborious to advocate something aside from the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) ($29.07 at Amazon). That has a extra versatile distant, full with voice controls, Radio Frequency (RF) as a substitute of Infrared so that you don’t must level the distant straight on the module, and HDMI-CEC assist to manage different gadgets. It additionally has Wi-Fi 5, 1.5GB of RAM, and AV1 assist, plus all of the apps and video games you may get through the Play Retailer.

Until you strongly choose Roku OS, the Specific (2022) simply cannot compete with the Chromecast with Google TV (HD).

Finally, your alternative of streaming gadgets could also be pushed by the platform you might be most accustomed to. As an illustration, the Hearth TV Stick Lite has Alexa, and the Chromecast with Google TV HD helps Google Assistant and Nest. Likewise, Roku’s interface is the only out of the three and may subsequently make an incredible price range present for individuals who aren’t that tech-savvy seeking to minimize their first twine. However on the finish of the day, except you might have a powerful desire for Roku OS, the Specific (2022) simply doesn’t compete with the Chromecast with Google TV (HD).

Roku Specific HD (2022)

A price range set-top streamer fitted to secondary TVs

The Roku Specific HD (2022) gives a simple and reasonably priced strategy to enter the world of cord-cutting. Its small dimension makes it the proper journey companion, and Roku OS is straightforward to navigate with hardly any adverts. If you don’t want a 4K TV and like a fundamental distant, then the Roku Specific HD will cowl all of your streaming bases.

High Roku Specific questions and solutions

What are the variations between the Roku Specific and Roku Specific 4K Plus?

The primary variations between the Roku Specific and Specific 4K Plus are that the latter comes with the Roku Voice Distant and helps 4K streaming with a greater cable HDMI cable. The Specific 4K Plus additionally gives quicker Wi-Fi and nearly twice the RAM for quicker loading.

How do I arrange the Roku Specific (2022)?

Comply with these steps to arrange your Roku Specific:

  • Join the streaming participant to an HDMI port on the again of your TV with the included cable.
  • Use the micro-USB energy cable to attach the streaming participant to a USB port in your TV. Be sure the Roku Specific is seen to your distant management.
  • Activate the TV together with your TV distant and choose the suitable enter (supply).
  • Insert the batteries into the Roku distant and comply with the on-screen directions to arrange or log in together with your Roku account.
  • How do I flip off the Roku Specific (2022)?

    There is no such thing as a energy button on the Roku Specific (2022) distant, and the gadget doesn’t have an influence button on it. If a USB port in your TV powers your Roku, it’ll shut down while you flip the TV off. In case your Roku is powered through a wall outlet, it’s essential to unplug it.

    Does Roku Specific (2022) have YouTube?

    Sure, YouTube is obtainable to obtain at no cost on the Roku Specific (2022). You may as well use Google Forged to solid YouTube out of your cellphone to the Roku Specific.

    Is there a month-to-month charge for Roku Specific (2022)?

    No, there aren’t any month-to-month charges for Roku Specific. (2022). You do must enter a bank card to arrange a Roku account, however no prices shall be made with out your authorization.

    Does the Roku Specific (2022) have Bluetooth?

    No, the Roku Specific (2022) doesn’t assist Bluetooth. Solely the Roku Extremely and Roku Streambar are suitable with Bluetooth.


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